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St. Martin’s-in-the-Field Day School. Part III: Presentation. Curriculum and Instruction. Objective 1. Environmental Issue and Instruction.

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Environmental Issue and Instruction

  • Students play an integral role in exploring the causes and effect of human actions on Earth in daily lesson plans and projects. Special partnerships and monthly visits from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Arlington Echo, and the MD Department of Natural Resources allow students to investigate, explore and promote how to become lifelong environmental stewards. Professional performers demonstrate to children how to become an involved citizen.

  • Daily environmental proactive practices such as recycling, saving energy, limiting water waste, reducing pollution and reusing what we can are all stressed. Teachers teach children how to communicate effectively to the public on both local and global issues. For example, we study area rivers and we also learn about environmental issues facing our sister school in Haiti.

  • The planting of native species creates an outdoor estuary for local wildlife such as: butterflies, birds, falcons, hawks, frogs, snakes, ladybugs, walking sticks, salamanders, and turtles. This estuary has greatly improved not only children studies but our community. Students also take part in outdoor campus by improving water run off into our streams and rivers by installing rain barrels and observing the effects of a retention pond around building sites. Each year our school celebrates by hosting an Earth Day Festival with our community partners.


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Environmental Issue and Instruction

  • Students take part in outdoor campus by improving water run off into our streams and rivers by installing rain barrels and observing the effects of a retention pond around building sites (retention and rain barrels photos)(see Tab #4.A.1 notebook for site plan of retention pond)

  • The planting of native species creates an outdoor estuary for butterflies, birds, falcons, hawks, frogs, snakes, ladybugs, walking sticks (see Tab #4.A.2)

  • Through partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, students have been able to take a hands-on field approach to saving our Bay and local rivers.

  • River Restoration projects: Grass planting, horseshoe crab release, oyster spats

  • By continuing to create projects reusing materials students learn about transforming trash into art. Earth Day 2008-09, Future Cities 2010

  • Classroom teachers reuse items that otherwise would wind up in landfill for improving classrooms such as old socks for erasers or tennis balls on the bottom of chairs. Plastic bags, cups, water bottles, old greeting cards, old CDs are used in classroom projects. For example, a poster was created for the 2009 Earth Day celebration using bottle tops, corks, glass, and other scrap materials

  • On-site observation of water runoff control /reuse using rain barrels, retention pond allows each student to explore the possibilities for reusable resources


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Environmental Issue and Instruction

  • No Child Left Inside program continued grant with the Chesapeake Bay Trust

  • September 2008 1st grade students take trip to local Severn river where they seined the river and learned about food chains, micro organisms, and the impact of humans to the watershed

  • 2008 – 2010 Middle School students continue to be recycling captains by emptying out paper recycling into the Abitibi container every school day (see Tab # 4.B.1 for paper tonnage log)

  • September 2009 school developed a group called the Green Team composed of parents and students to help advocate Green practices at school and in the community (see Tab #3.B.1 & 3.B.2)

  • September 2009 Service Hour program initiated for Green Team participation (see Tab #5.A.1)

  • October 2009 Chesapeake Bay Foundation visited all levels of Elementary School to instruct students on local Habitats. Different levels of instruction for each classroom. Classrooms continued these studies throughout the month. This has been an on-going partnership for the past 10 years.

  • 3rd Graders create posters to go with the Lesson Plan Save the Bay in the Winter of 2009.


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Environmental Issue and Instruction

  • Fall 2009 1st grade use water conservation and Habitat to learn about Shark Species. The class then visits the Baltimore Aquarium where students get a backstage pass to view important aquatic life such as jellyfish and sharks.

  • Fall 2009 2nd graders find an area that could be a future site for a water garden with CBF

  • Fall 2009 the Chesapeake Bay Foundation teaches classes about life-cycles. 1st graders learns about food chain, 2nd graders experience what it’s like to be a blue crab

  • School year 2009-2010 Kindergarten class nurtures horseshoe crabs in tank for a celebrated release at the end of the year. Teacher attended MD Department of Natural Resources workshop. (see Tab #3.C.2)

  • May 2009 students begin gathering and preparing projects in class for Earth Day celebration

  • April 2009 Earth Day celebration, students run tables collecting money, putting onpuppet shows, helping local communities with demonstrations, and helping with cleaning up

  • April 2010 Earth Day will again be hosted by St. Martin’s in-the-Field giving teachers the opportunities to use this event in their lesson plans and allow students to take part in the celebration


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Environmental Issue and Instruction

  • Spring 2009, the 8th grade CBF trip is a three-day, two-night adventure. Where the students learn about the formation and significance of marsh land; the history and current condition of both crabbing and oystering in the bay; they do several water quality tests in the bay and evaluate the health of the bay.  All of this gets tied together as they develop a deeper appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay habitat and understand how they can help to improve the health of the bay. (see Tab #3.B.7)

  • Fall 2009 students take part in the planting of Native Species and continue to be BayWise gardeners (see Tab # 4.C.1)

  • Spring 2009 Chesapeake Bay Foundation worked with students to understand the importance of native species planting and planted Blueberry bushes on campus to attract birds and other wildlife. This exercise will be repeated Spring 2010.

  • Spring 2009 Clagett Farm Program discusses bay agriculture and how land use affects the watershed. (see Tab #3.B.6)

  • Fall 2009 the Chesapeake Bay Foundation visited each classroom to discuss the importance of conserving water and Rain Barrel Ideas, and using Rain Barrels.

  • Spring 2009 1st and 2nd graders students take a trip to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Philip Merrill Environmental Center (see Tab #3.B.6)


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Environmental Issue and Instruction

  • Fall 2009 Professional Magic show for all classes explain to students the difference between what can and cannot decompose or be recycled

  • Winter 2010 Professional Performer puts on a Puppet Show for the elementary school about the importance of Reduce Reuse and Recycle (see Tab #3.B.8)

  • Winter 2009 middle school students visit Landfill and Sorting Station (see Tab #3.A.4)

  • Winter 2009 middle School students begin Future Cities project, inviting professionals from the community to discuss subjects such as Energy, Architecture, Rivers. Project earns awards. (see Tab #3.A.4 for syllabus)

  • Winter 2010 students from all elementary grades create a recycling poster to be posted in each class that has examples of items found in lunches that can now be recycled

  • Spring 2010 the Chesapeake Bay Foundation visits all classes to educate students about the local bay and rivers.

  • Spring 2010 1st and 4th graders get a hands-on pollution experience about how the Chesapeake Bay and rivers have changed in 400 years and that by preserving existing natural shoreline and planting SUVs and trees provides filtering but not everything can be filtered.


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New Lessons Plans for Late Spring

  • Spring 2010 the 2nd and 3rd graders will do stream surveys and observations of wildlife at Patuxent State park

  • Spring 2010 French teacher conducted a litter clean up and learning French at the same time class. They will be compiling a “green lesson” book titled Le Mouvement Vert .

  • Baltimore Harbor Program for 4th and 5th grade students study the dynamic relationship between the Port of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay Patapsco river (see Tab #3.B.6)


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Professional Development

Our teachers and parent volunteers have enjoyed a variety of seminars and lectures from which their newly acquired knowledge can be shared with their students almost immediately. These seminars and lectures were given by Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Marshy Point Nature Center, Anne Arundel County Public Works , AIMS, and the Clyburn Arboretum (see Tab #3.C.1).Our school set aside one of its Professional Development days to enable teachers and administrators to attend a special presentation by Arlington Echo to alert our staff and parent volunteers to the process of becoming a Green School. Support by the school’s leadership for the Green School process was enthusiastically embraced by the teachers, who realized that much of what they were doing or were planning to do could be enhanced by their own heightened awareness of environmental impacts and influences.

Teachers have made professional development in environmental matters a priority. For example, one teacher became certified in raising horseshoe crabs. Another spent a day with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation building oyster balls at the Oyster Restoration Center in southern Anne Arundel County.


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Professional Development

  • Arlington Echo – explains process of Green Certification, January 15, 2010

  • Meeting with Green Team and Anne Arundel County Public Works on how to increase green practices and evaluate current system October 2009

  • MAEOE consultation/ meetings with Benfield Green Team, September 2009

  • Mrs. Pittenger (Kindergarten) certified in raising horseshoe crabs, June 2009

  • 1st, 6th, and 8th grade science teachers attended the Green Schools seminar held at Marshy Point Nature Center, Cylburn Arboretum and Smith Island Education Center from July 7-11, 2008 in order to use this newly acquired information in the 2008 - 2009 school year. (see Tab #3.C.1)

  • Tracy Alexander (6th grade) and Ginny Ready (8th grade) attended a CBF multi-day class Green School matters in the summer of 2009. (see Tab #3.C.1)

  • Mrs. Hodges and Mrs. Stanton (1st and 2nd grade teachers) attended a class on Tree Planting given by the CBF (Fall of 2008)

  • Mrs. Cristina Decker (parent volunteer and Green Team Coordinator.) attended the AIMS conference November 9th. Sessions attended were the Getting Greener Schools! The Maryland Green School Award Program, the Sidwell Friends’ Green Middle School: Lessons So Far, and A Greener Shade of School.  (see insert at back cover of notebook)


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Celebration

  • Renewal and rebirth are cause for celebration. As students, teachers, administrators, and parent volunteers work hard to understand the interconnectedness of the web of life that supports us in our Chesapeake Bay watershed and on our planet, there comes a time to simply celebrate. Coming together, celebrating, recognizing what has been achieved, and renewing commitment—it is as much a part of us as it is a cycle of nature.

  • Our middle school students and their teachers, as well as consulting engineers from our community, worked hard for months on their Future Cities projects. We were first-time entrants in this competition, and when we brought back two awards, it was time to celebrate. We ordered the pizza and had a good time. We made sure, though, that our party supplies were biodegradable, recycled, or reused.

  • At the end of the school year, we are planning on celebrating our Green Team achievements. We’ll have a dress-down day and an ice-cream party. We will recognize the student with the most service hours with a certificate of achievement and applause from all of us.

  • Earth Day on our campus is a community-wide celebration that attracts people of all ages, from babies to grandparents. We hold it outdoors, weather permitting, or indoors if we must. But we celebrate Earth Day.

  • Because caring for our environment is a process, never a culmination, we recognize ideas and actions in our monthly school newspaper in a special section devoted to Green News, distributed online.


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Celebration

1. Students earn community service credit hours for participation in Community events (see Tab # 5.A.1)

  • Ice cream party rewards for class effort

  • Recognition in the on-line newsletter

  • Certificate for child who accumulates the highest number of green service hours during the academic year

  • Dress down day

  • Earth Day week and festival is our own way to celebrate the hard work our students, teachers, parents and community partners have accomplished throughout the year

  • Cake party for Future Cities Project Completion



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Water Conservation and/or Water Pollution Prevention grounds

  • The April issue of the National Geographic is a special issue on water, this “precious and finite resource.” Our objective twofold: to conserve water on Campus and to limit polluted runoff. Students learn about the problems of storm water and waste water as they enter the Anne Arundel County sewer system and, ultimately, the bay. We realize that our school’s use of water and our natural ground cover can be managed to help the bay environment and that water is a global issue.

  • We have a sediment retention pond on campus that has been created over the past few years, greatly slowing and filtering the flow of water that previously would have run right into the storm sewer.

  • We have eliminated the use of fertilizers on Campus, cutting back on the nitrogen and phosphorous flowing into the bay.

  • Our Campus is designated a Critical Area because of its proximity to the bay. We believe it is, therefore, critically important to impress on our students, our staff, and our grounds keepers that surface water needs to be kept clean of pollutants and filtered through native plants and grasses. (see Tab #4.A.1)


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Water Conservation / Water Pollution Prevention grounds

  • Downspouts tied to retention pond minimizing runoff into the bay

  • Native tree planting around retention pond (see Tab#4.A.2 for tree order form)

  • ‘Bay Wise’ certification ensures grounds are kept bay friendly.

  • Rain barrels are used for watering plants and controlling runoff

  • Automatic shutoff faucets in main building and school bathrooms

  • Cleaning products are plant-based

  • Children create posters throughout the addressing many issues including ways to prevent water pollution that can be used for hallways, bathrooms, kitchens on campus

  • Students take Conservation Measurements – ( see Tab #3.A.3)

  • The 4th graders evaluated how much water they consumed at home and how much of it could be conserved by changing consumption methods at home. (see Tab #3.A.3)

  • The Campus has a no dog waste sign posted on all fenced in areas with public access, maintenance is responsible for any clean up needed

  • We are in a critical watershed area and do not use curbs, thereby allowing some of the water to absorb into grassy knolls as opposed to running directly into the storm sewer, this also allows for natural soggy or bog-like conditions, ideal for certain wildlife and plant species.


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Energy Conservation grounds

  • Our school has replaced all incandescent bulbs throughout our Campus. Fluorescent lamps and CFL’s are the norm. Reminders to turn off all lights in public restrooms have been posted. We also turn off when a room is not in use. The older more energy wasteful computers were replaced this year with 15 new energy-efficient desk tops and 5 new lap tops to compliment the 10 previously purchased for teachers on the go. Programmable thermostats have replaced the older ones allowing for more controlled temperature settings, allowing us to further conserve energy and prevent waste.


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Energy Conservation grounds

  • School Classroom – lights out not in use, outdoor classes held as weather permits

  • Energy efficient cooling and heating to be installed by 2011. (Under evaluation)

  • Energy star refrigerators/freezers in school kitchen

  • Energy star computer/copier equipment

  • CFL bulbs and fluorescent lighting throughout church and school facility

  • Energy efficient computers/monitors


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Waste Reduction grounds

  • During the last two years our school has aggressively pursued the reduction of waste on Campus. At the same time we understand that there will be waste and have taken strong steps towards reducing the amount we generate. We have dramatically increased our on Campus recycling. Case in point, the 2 cy recycling container installed by Allied Waste in January of 2010 was replaced with a 4 cy container just one month later! We are very excited about this accomplishment!


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Waste Reduction grounds

Paper Retriever Abitibi- paper

4 cy recycling dumpster – for all other material (see Tab #(4.B.1)

Reuse of materials for classroom instruction

In class recycling captains for lunch

Middle school in charge of collecting and recycling paper on a weekly basis

Green Team students help set up recycling before and after events

Maintenance manager assures recycling bins are used properly and assists in emptying bins during schools hours and events

Recycling cartridge program – since December of 2009 we have recycled 40 large toner cartridges, 99 ink cartridges, 4 cell phones and 3 chargers. All from a student body comprised of less than 300 students!

As of this school year, approximately 80% of all school communication with families has been done via e-mails and website in order to conserve resources and keep energy and supply costs down. (see Tab #3.B.5) for hard copy example)

Parents are donating a compost bin for use on campus for reduction of solid waste and for creating biodegradable fertilizer for our plants. (see Tab #4.B.3)

Reminders to recycle are placed throughout the school (see Tab #4.B.2)

Any copies needed are made double sided has reduced our paper demand since.

Excess paper donated by family members (reuse) is used in order to eliminate the purchase of new paper when possible. Scrap boxes are used for classroom projects children return scraps not used for the next time

2009 Fall Clean Up – surrounding grounds and church property, leaves/branches become mulch for both the school grounds and go to local landscaping company (see Tab #5.A.1)

Middle School Green Team students initiated and continually monitor and contribute to an in class Magazine Swap. Supervision of appropriate magazines is monitored by the Middle School English teacher. This program started in Fall 2009.


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Habitat Restoration grounds

  • For approximately eight years our school has been restoring the habitat for birds and wild life on our Campus. For purposes of this application, we are concentrating on what they have done during the last two years. Numerous native plants, shrubs and trees have been planted on our Campus in order to restore the balance of nature as much as possible. Before they are planted the kids measure and tag each one to follow growth progress and to identify them for future classes. We have a proposed plan to mulch a walkway and add an observation deck in our sediment retention pond/wetland. (link to picture) (See Tab #4.A.1)


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Habitat Restoration grounds

  • Bay Wise certification 2008, students participated in planting of native species

  • Native planting annually by Parent’s Association, students, teachers with the guidance of CBF.

  • Untouched buffer zone allows for natural life-cycle of plants, trees, birds and insects

  • Bay grass planting, horseshoe crab, butterfly, with partnership with CBF and Arlington Echo

  • Retention pond established as an estuary for birds, ducks, insects, and native trees and plants. Total square footage of retention pond is 7500 sq. ft.

  • The Chesapeake Wildlife Fund works with school in preserving and nurturing area habitat through grant

  • A total of 10 Blueberry bushes were planted by last years first graders. 6 native shrubs were planted (oak leaf hydrangea, winterberry, and elderberry)

  • No reduction in turf area or cutting down of trees allowed due to proximity to critical watershed area

  • Conservation, Preservation, and Reclamation = The “CPR” project May 2009 – (see Tab #3.A.3)


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Building Structures for groundsLearning About the Environment

  • With a beautiful campus to enjoy, our teachers and students make a point of enjoying their surroundings whenever the weather permits. From having lunch and recess outside, to holding Reflection time, French class and other classes in the open air and sunshine, the complete student body gets to enjoy their surroundings while learning from it whenever possible.


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Building Structures for Learning About the Environment grounds

  • Birds houses were posted in 2008 for bird study

  • Retention pond built for restoration, observation, and backyard habitat studies (see Tab #4.A.1)

  • Future cities project allowed students to consider the effects of building and infrastructure design on the environment (see Tab #3.A.3)

  • Gardens on the campus are an excellent source for identifying native plant, bugs, frogs, salamanders (see Tab #3.A.4)

  • A backyard rain garden is visited by frogs and other creatures, the water runs from parking lot and deck

  • Outdoor studies can include Math, French, Art, Sciences, Poetry. Teachers use nature to explain and theorize studies.


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Responsible Transportation grounds

  • Because ours is a small, private school the students we serve live within but also beyond the immediate Severna Park area. Therefore, the establishment of a bus route is not practical. Keeping the need for pollution reduction on the forefront of what we do, the school distributes the student list before the start of the school year. This gives parents the option to coordinate car pools amongst their neighbors. Parents also coordinate carpools to sporting events and school field trips. Reminders to not idle in the car pool line are sent via e-mail on an almost monthly basis. With much success in this area.

  • (see Appendix 2)


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Responsible Transportation grounds

  • Carpooling program available, for school and sporting events (see Appendix 2)

  • Volunteers run carpool so there is less idling during pick up and drop off.

  • Parent parking is available for walking to pickup

  • A turn engines off policy has parents parking in line until carpool begins.

  • For some sporting events and field trips involving multiple classes private buses are hired


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Healthy School Environment grounds

  • St. Martin’s strives to provide a healthy school environment through the elimination of all toxic cleaning products to clean our buildings. In keeping with this philosophy no pesticides are used on Campus whether inside or out. This has eliminated all noxious fumes from our interior spaces. The custodian uses a Dyson HEPA filter bag less vacuum cleaner to reduce allergens in the air. Last summer, all VCT floors were sealed with a green no VOC sealant. Along with the purchase of only green cleaning products, the school uses both paper towels and toilet paper made from recycled paper.


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Healthy School Environment grounds

  • Certificate from Holt Industries pending

  • 100% elimination of all chemical pest controls indoors

  • 100% elimination of all insecticides along the outside of Campus structures

  • 100% elimination of lawn pesticides.

  • 90% reduction of lawn fertilizer, only used to help small areas that have been patched to accelerate the growth of grass in order to eliminate any soil erosion.

  • St. Martin’s is lead paint and asbestos free

  • Adequate venting and air circulation is provided

  • Kiln is properly ventilated

  • Drinking water is tested for potability



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Community Partnerships grounds

  • St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Day School has an on going relationship with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. St. Martin’s Day School has hosted the annual Earth Day Celebration in Severna Park for the past two years and will be hosting again this year. This is a collaborative effort with St. Martin’s Church, the Watershed Action Group and Severna Park Chamber of Commerce. It is estimated that last year, 600 people attended along with 40 area participants. (see Tab #5.B.1 & 2)

    St. Martin’s Church, where the day school is located, started a Stewardship of Creation Committee in order to help address the environmental issues on campus and increase awareness of global concerns. A parent volunteer sits on the Committee as a liaison between the church and school. (see Tab #5.A.2)


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Active in Community grounds

  • Heifer Program with sister school in Haiti. Children+ (global)

  • 2008 Earth Day Host

  • Earth Day Host 2009 Earth Day had over 40 Community Partners and 600 attendees

  • Celebration in Severna Park on April 24th, 2010 for the third consecutive year. Our middle school students volunteer to run St. Martin’s sponsored booths. These students will also monitor recycling. (see Tab #5.B.2)

  • 2008 Fall Clean up - surrounding grounds and church property, leaves/branches become mulch for both the school grounds and go to landscaping company

  • 2009 Fall Clean Up – surrounding grounds and church property, leaves/branches become mulch for both the school grounds and go to landscaping company


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The Community is Active in Our School grounds

  • Earth Day. Click here to see slides

  • Parents are encouraged to bring paper recycling to school to increase capacity for other recycling items in their at home recycling efforts. This helps to demonstrate parents’ commitment to recycling – leading by example.

  • School hosts Severna Park 4th of July parade for approximately the past 7 years. Providing a safe starting point for participants, recycling containers, parking for floats






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Closing Statement grounds

  • Thank you for considering St. Martin’s in-the-Field Day School for Maryland Green School status. We are excited about being a green school and seeing the fruits of our efforts in our children, staff and parents.

  • If you have any questions please contact our Green School Coordinator Mrs. Cristina Decker at 410-507-4322 or Jennifer Triplett at 410-729-4066.


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A PHOTO OF AWARD groundsFuture Cities news article in the Mustang Guardian school newspaper

Environmental Issue and Instruction

  • MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWSMiddle School Students Take TWO Future City Engineering Awards After many long weeks of researching, writing, designing, and building the “green” city of the future that has suffered a natural or financial disaster, the 7th and 8th grade classes brought home two awards from the Future City engineering competition held at the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Saturday, January 16th.  Competing against ten other teams from Maryland, 7th grade team presenters Tommy Chafe, William Fung, and Paige Sachwitz and 8th grade presenters Alex Bannan, Miranda Durner, and Stephanie Kopas dazzled spectators with their engineering knowledge, expertly built models, and polished presentation skills.

  • “Best First Year School” was awarded to the 7th grade class, and “Excellence in Engineering” went to the 8th graders. A culminating party was thrown to celebrate the success of all classes, including the 6th grade, who was “in training” this year. The party was complete with cake and competition video and pictures. Many thanks go to the middle school teachers, Sue Pistillo, Tracy Alexander, and Ginny Ready and to visiting engineers, Wadie Williams, Wally Putkowski, Kevin Fitzgerald, and Seth Tibbitts, as well as middle school parents who supported the kids with encouragement and provided transportation to the after-school work sessions and the competition. Special thanks to Cristina Decker and Barbara Cooke who helped to arrange speakers and field trips. The “green” cities of the future and their awards are currently on display in the Parish Hall. This is especially noteworthy. Not every entry came home with an award. We won the most prestigious awards, and this was our first year of entry in this highly competitive and intense contest.


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